Tuesday, May 02, 2006

God bless you!

Marc was fussed over in England and France by doting grandparents, aunts, uncles and my grandmother who had become a great-grandmother for the first time. New babies always encourage the family to guess where their noses, ears or smile comes from. With a baby from two countries no-one knows what to expect…..will he become more French or English? Will he have a big French nose? Or horsy English teeth? Looking at our toothless button-nosed blue-eyed baby it’s hard to say right now….

Certainly having a child brings you closer to your family and I felt we needed some kind of celebration to get everyone together. So we decided to baptize Marc in the summer.
My parents offered to arrange it and I went to visit the Reverend of our village church with trepidation as he had never met Jacques. Although I was a Church of England attendee I skimmed over Jacques’ Catholic background. We both had Christian upbringings anyway regardless of whether you follow the Queen or the Pope. The Reverend agreed over a cup of tea and biscuits…

For godparents it was a little tricky. We wanted a mix of French and English and so we chose Jacques’ older brother, Pierre as godfather then my mum said that in England a baby boy should have two godmothers…..so I asked a our friend Ella, who was at our wedding and Alison, a friend who I met in Poland. So Marc has three godparents in all, which my French family found very strange as they only have two. The reverend questioned whether Pierre would understand the religious text, but we assured him we would translate.

We chose traditional English food, a light finger-food buffet and an iced fruit cake was ordered. My mum sourced blue balloons with ‘marc’ printed on them. Dad booked a jazz band and invites were sent out. My mum chose a delightful cream romper suit with matching hat and bootees. My parents-in-law said they would come with Jacques brothers and sister too and a little surprise….

The guests arrived from France a day early with a big package…. Odile had brought three kilogrammes of blue and white sugared almonds or dragées and the special boxes that are a traditional gift for christenings. She got all the family working to box them up for the Sunday.

On the Sunday morning we all walked around the corner to the church where the kind Reverend welcomed my family in French and proceeded to add in the odd French phrase when he could. Marc was christened over the font and then we all went the lunch. When we cut the cake I realized there were two cakes and my mum offered one to Odile as a gift. Traditionally the cake is kept a while, which Odile did, proudly sharing it later with family in France. Afterwards several family and friends stayed for tea, praising my mum’s tea and cakes and my dad showed photos of us when we were young, hoping to find a family resemblance in Marc I think!

So Marc officially joined the Church of England….

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